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Showing posts from August, 2018

The License Plate and the Great Divide (Or: How I Survived the Japanese Interrogation Room)

There’s a ravine between everyone and me, and it’s called the Japanese language.

As much as I tried to study back in the states, it’s simply not enough. I knew, going into this, it wasn’t enough, but because the organization which hired me said Japanese language proficiency wasn’t a requirement when I first applied for this role, I didn’t give it much consideration.

Let me repeat: Japanese language proficiency is not a requirement of my job. For whatever reason.
Even now I can get around the ravine in small ways, using hand gestures, the minimal Japanese I know. But it’s still difficult.
In Houston I listened to a fellow teacher, not knowing that my proficiency with the language was so low, complaining loudly about anyone who didn’t have JLPT certification going into the teaching program.
“If you don’t know Japanese, you’re probably a piece of shit,” she said with a laugh, followed by laughs of agreement from other teachers who had similarly-high language certification.